Perpetuating our profession: Nurturing NP students

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I have the best job in the world for me! I enjoy what I do, I enjoy working with my patients and coworkers, and I love the opportunity to learn. Some of my greatest teachers have been my patients. Not far behind them are the students I precept. Precepting students helps keep me on my toes clinically and, more important, students give me insight, inspiration, and passion for my profession. Clinical teaching is a way to give back to our profession and benefits both students and teachers while perpetuating the NP profession.
The past 10 years or so have brought many new challenges to our work as NPs. Electronic health records, quality or performance measures, and demands for more productivity have changed how we practice. It is easy to put off precepting students because we are too busy (I did this for a while). Then, I heard a colleague say that the biggest threat to the profession is a lack of clinical preceptors. We cannot sustain our profession without participating in the education of our up and coming members. New NPs need us, but we also need them.
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